Thursday, July 09, 2009

Tony Takitani

� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � Tony Takitani is one of the two Japanese films i caught at last week's Eiga-Sai at the Shangri-la. I was particularly drawn to this film because it is based on a short story by Haruki Murakami who i discovered fairly recently. Murakami has his way of telling stories which transports you into an almost transcluscent world and i was kinda curious as to how his stories would appear on film.

True enough, i found the movie fairly gauzy but in a clean and crisp way. It's like watching the characters in their real setting but is still seemingly floating, apart from everyone else.�

Just like most of his stories, this also delves on loneliness and solitude. A theme that is evident in Japanese culture, what with their boxed, and i say, almost claustrophobic lifestyle. Everything in its compartmentalized, organized state.

The main character, Tony Takitani is shunned since his childhood because of his foreign sounding name. Life has then taught him to fend for himself and wallow in solitude. He dabbled in a career in technical design and as a really good artist, made great money with it. In his latter years, he met a woman who he eventually fell in love with and married. The woman however has one great fault. She is so much addicted to shopping for designer clothes.

I bet most of the Japanese women could relate to the story. It is a running joke for most Filipinos in Japan, that for one to win a Japanese woman's heart, one must be ready to shower her with material gifts mostly of designer bags, shoes, clothes.

The film thus takes us into a woman's closet and how she fills them with one wonderful piece of clothing to another. How she picks each one item from the racks, buys, caresses, smells and worships them could almost be contaminating. Almost like some scene from Confessions of a Shopaholic!

But it is also this same addiction that leads to her tragic end.

Which brings us back to the prevailing theme of sadness and isolation and solitude.

Yes, pretty heavy and profound.�

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